Introduction

I know when I see it

Here you will see the inconsistent, unfair, untimely and corrupt practices of VCAT exposed. As Justice Stewart of the United States Supreme Court once said “I know it when I see it”. Corruption is easily apparent and distinguishable, as it affects the whole organization. Usually, it flows right from the top. Its similar to a “fish that rots from the head down”.

The corruption you will become aware from the procedures themselves and decisions. Hearings are held for the sake of saying “there was a hearing” and an outcome reached. Member’s are appointed to serve the best interest of certain parties. When questioned about how come Member interests’, like directorships, shares owned, and affiliations are not published, they told me that there is no requirement to publish them, however, if you suspect a conflict of interest then this should be mentioned at the start of the hearing.

Although, there is such a rule. This rule is rarely adhered to by the members. When I strongly objected about a member presiding in a residential tenancies matter, she just continued nevertheless.

The VCAT Act allows a party to request for the member to be changed, where there is bias. I experienced bias from two members. On both occasions I told the member to step-down. I even told him/her that it is written in the VCAT Act, that the registrar has the powers to appoint another member. But the member, on each occasion, just carried on. Of course, they may be shy to step-down as it would mean accepting that there was bias.

The VCAT even put the same member I had previously complained about, just to re-iterate that there was no bias by that member. I told her, that I will not have the matter determined by a biased member, said “thank you” and walked out of the hearing room. There is no point going through a hearing when someone has expressed bias against a member. It will not be a Fair trial (hearing). Until it is fixed, by appointing another member, it will be a waste of the Tribunal’s time and resources. I told the counter staff about this and also the “manager”, but he said that he was “not there” when I requested the change of member, and said I could lodge a complaint or appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Decision made by biased member, without the parties present

Even though I had left the hearing room before taking an oath, the member went ahead and dismissed the case. So in effect, no one was there to witness the hearing, except her. The other party was not served with a hearing notice. I think, members must be assigned a number of cases each day and if they step-down from one hearing they must miss their targets. But this does not excuse them proceeding without an ounce of decency.

Bias explained clearly to Tribunal by way of a complaint

I lodged a complaint about the conduct and behaviour of the member to explain how I came to the conclusion that she was biased.

1) at the previous hearing she continuously interrupted me while speaking. Not so, when the respondent’s lawyer was speaking.

2) She threatened to “call security” at one point, and did not explain what for.

3) She did not consider the evidence I presented. When I handed her a document that required careful analysis by her, she just read the title of the document, “licence agreement” and handed it back to me.

4) I presented photos relevant to the case lodged prior to the hearing. There was no comment about these at all.

5) No opportunity to cross-examine the witness. The member was the only person who asked the witness questions. It was obvious that the questions were discussed with the witness before the hearing.

6) Clubby behaviour with the legal counsel for the respondent (other party).

These are just a few of the aspects. This Tribunal is rotten from head to tail. Not all members/staff are corrupt, but some are spoiling it for the others, so much that there is more of the spoilers or their influence has become stronger.

Each time I see a procedure flouted, a member behaving badly I complain. I will continue …if I do not complain anymore I am certain someone will take up the responsibility to complain on our behalf.

Here you will see the letter sent to me by the president of VCAT, Justice Garde. It denies all allegations of bad conduct and bad behavior by the member.

First Impressions

I initially became involved/had dealings with VCAT in November 2013, by lodging an application under the Residential Tenancies List seeking an interim restraining order/injunction against my former landlord.

The application lodgement went smoothly, and so did the arranging of the hearing. It was arranged for the same day, and the hearing took place at about 3pm, after filing the application at around 1pm.

But after the start of the hearing I could sense that there was something fishy, but you do not expect this from a Tribunal. So I continued to put my faith in it and went ahead with the hearing. Without any kind of documents, the member went on to make decisions. The only thing I found that the member did do correctly was to amend that application to become an application under the Residential Tenancies list and Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012. This is a power that VCAT has under the VCAT Act. However, he dismissed the matter saying it was a licence agreement. But when I asked him persistently to look at the agreement I was given by the landlord, he refused. So how did he work out that it was a licence agreement?.

Request for Audio CD

Under the VCAT rules any party to the proceedings has the right to request an audio CD of the proceedings thorough an approved supplier listed on the VCAT ‘request a CD’ form but they are not accurate or of much use, mostly because they are heavily edited. I’ve ordered two recordings up to now and on the initial one the inaccuracies were so stark that the questions and responses were interferred with. So, in one instance, where I asked the Tribunal Member a question, and he remained silent, in the audio, he is actually answering the question, using a monologue from another part of the recording.

The sound level with that recording was increased, which is okay. But everything else, appalling. The questionable editing is reported elsewhere. See:

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/vcat-tribunal-edited-hearing-audio-c759290.html

Not the only one

This is not the only instance where VCAT has shown bias, shown outright disregard for the rules, and maladministration. See:

https://www.aussielegal.com.au/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=23086&SponsorStateID=4

(see point No.13. of above link for members editing audio before it’s released)

http://malverneastgroup.freehostia.com/vcat/MEG_VCAT_Exposed_presentation_final.pdf

There’s countless more. It’s high time to put a stop to this farce of a Tribunal.

Page Last Updated: 30 December 2016

 

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. Jim Surry says:

    Is the VCAT owners corporation list corrupt?

    I give you 10 facts.

    Fact 1. The owners corporation law allows managers to transfer money from the owners pool to their own private bank account. This means if a manager steals money from the pool, the Police will not act, as by the law it’s perfectly legal (OC Act, Section 27)

    Fact 2. Due to how VCAT interprets privacy laws, some owners corporations can not even access their own accounts. They are forced to trust the manager.

    Why does VCAT & the law refuse to allow owners to access their own owners corporation account???

    Fact 3. Managers take the interest of the owners account and pay it to the Victorian Property Fund. From this fund more than a million is paid to VCAT yearly. (Eg: SCA Annual Report AGM 2014 page 18. VCAT Annual Report page 53).

    Effectively, managers are stealing the owners money to pay-off VCAT.

    Owners know nothing of this.

    Fact 4. In 2012, the VCAT President invited managers and their lawyers to meet him on a regular basis. Since this time they have regularly met and discussed how VCAT should run cases. (Eg: VCAT Annual Report 2013-14, page 28).

    Owners are not permitted to attend.

    So can VCAT’s President be relied upon to protect owners when meeting with the managers and their lawyers?

    Is he fair?

    Fact 5. The VCAT president himself was involved in a controversial tribunal case against a property owner.
    A water company cuts off the water to a property making it worthless. The water company then forces the owner of the property to sell it to them, dirt cheap. When the owner appeals for justice, the tribunal ruled that the water company had the right to do this, and orders the owner to pay all legal costs for complaining.

    Yes, it was our VCAT President who represented the water company.

    How did he do it?

    It certainly appears that the VCAT president deliberately fabricated a mass of evidence against the owner, and presented it as fact to the tribunal. It appears the judges were fully aware of the fraud. Details of this extraordinary case, and what the President and judges got away with, is on the website courtsontrial.com

    This is not an official legal website however, if the fraud allegations are false, how could someone openly get away with making false claims against our esteemed VCAT President?

    Fact 5. VCAT, with the manager’s funding it, the user group, and the Presidents dubious past, and more, appears loaded with conflicts of interest

    So do owners get a fair go at VCAT?

    Fact 6. Owners win less than 5% of cases at VCAT (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/).

    Fact 7. This Age article titled “Rip off managers” highlights the bias against owners (http://www.smh.com.au/national/rip-off-body-corporate-managers-stay-registered-20130205-2dwj0.html).

    It humorously refers to a manager who was repeatedly taken to VCAT . The manager even admitted charging owners for water supplies to individual car parks. In another case he allegedly took $10, 000 from an owners corporation’s account that had sacked him, because it was summer and he wanted air conditioners to cool himself (Not listed in article).

    VCAT continually refused to rule against him. After an outcry he finally he lost a case, and in the article says he only lost because he did not turn up. With this statement, he appears to be ‘bang on the money’.

    If VCAT, its president, judges, lawyers or even employees read or hear this, they will act horrified.

    “You’re saying VCAT’s corrupt, how dare you… vexatious!

    Vexatious is the argument that lawyers use when their crook has no defence. It’s a boring, lazy, cliché defence. It takes no skill, research or effort to claim vexatious, and it appears it’s exactly how VCAT deals with ‘difficult’ owners (VCAT Act, Sections 75, 79, 109)

    Fact 8. When VCAT rules an owner as vexatious, it not only dismisses the case But orders the owner to pay all the manager’s legal costs. This can cost the owner from hundreds up to $30, 000, or more. Not only does the owner lose the case, not get back owed money, and be ordered to pay all costs, but the same manager is free to carry on ripping off the same owner

    Fact 9. An overwhelming majority of lawyers not in VCAT’s inner circle, despise VCAT for its lack of due process, fairness and natural justice.

    A final fact

    Fact 10. Lawyer James Johnson, a solicitor and barrister of the High Court of Australia, has openly referred to VCAT as a criminal Star Chamber, and the corrupt nature of the VCAT President and others at VCAT, by name. (http://jamesjohnsonchr.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/all-the-attorney-generals-men-vcat-political-crime-spree-show-trial-j1342011/).

    VCAT and its members are just another proud ‘lawyer joke’.

    VCAT owners corporation list – exposed

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JS says:

    I absolutely agree with the initial post. The judges are blatant, and show no regard for the law. If you’re against a protected party the decision is made beforehand. The more proof you have the more abusive the member (judge) is.

    I know if I want an issue solved civilly, then VCAT is not the place to go.

    Shame on all legal people and members who particpate in this ZOO.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mel says:

    “V/CAT AS BAD AS IT GETS”

    If it were Not for the Supreme Court, peoples lives would be adversely affected by the wrongful, and unlawful decisions of V/crap.

    We have taken the Director of Housing to V/Cat in Two Tenants Application cases, in our first case the Senior male Member wrote Misleading, False, Written Reasons covering up the failings of the Director of Housing, example a Gaping Hole on the roof repointing took three and half Years for the Director of Housing to repair, yet the Member placed three and half Days,

    The Senior Member disregarded all our evidence including SES reports and our roof plumbers report, and left out the Consumer Affairs report which ordered the Director to carry out repairs, we have also experienced female Members preventing us from speaking more than a minute and preventing us asking the respondents questions, and also did not want to see our Video and photos evidence. V/Cat refuse to hear about the Maladministration of the Director of Housing, and Misquotes us.

    The V/Cat Registrar is just as Unprofessional sending back our Tenants Application to V/Cat against the Director of Housing when there were No issues with any part of it, we had to email Fifty three pages of submissions back to V/cat. A trick of V/Cat is they have a habit of wrongfully opening another V/cat File to dilute the case, that has happened twice.

    We have also experienced other Government agencies like Victorian Ombudsman, Victorian Inspectorate, Consumer Affairs and local member all Covering up the Failings of the Director of Housing we have emails, video, and photos proof. We Summoned in a staff member from Victorian Ombudsman office and V/cat prevented this, we also Summoned in Two staff the Director of Property and Assets Branch and V/cat prevented these as well using unreasonable excuses.

    V/Cat is Not a Forum of Justice its a Forum full of Corruption, and deception, Members need to re- read their own V/cat rules and abide by them for once and especially the Fair Hearing rule.

    Don’t be afraid to speak up for your Rights, V/cat will only pay attention when people take a stand in numbers.

    Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In 2010, I sued Shepparton Retirement Villages Incorporated. This registered charity effectively determined that I would no longer be able to supply medicines to around 180 clients who were housed at this aged care facility. Since this decision was made via a farce competitive tender process and since it triggered the destruction of my two site pharmacy business, I sued SRV in the VCAT (Civil list).

    Gerard Butcher was the VCAT (Civil list) member who presided over the seven day fully contested hearing. SRV was represented by a barrister and solicitor. They had met with Butcher before the hearing and it was decided that Kevin Bertram would be allowed to be present in the room while I cross examined the four other defense witnesses. Normally in a VCAT (Civil list) hearing, all witnesses are removed from the room during the testimony of other witnesses. Why did Gerard Butcher not do this?

    Kevin Bertram hates me with passion. During cross examination, he could not control his overly inflated ego and he said that he could not stand the sound of my voice. The tone of voice that he adopted insinuated that the sound of my voice was a valid reason for trashing my business.

    Mrs Jan Nankervis was another defence witness. She said something very similar to “Because it was supposed to be for Barry Campbell’s pharmacy.” She said it quietly but audibly and Gerard Butcher and the two qualified lawyers probably heard it as well. Judging from the general lack of integrity of the VCAT(Civil list) hearing, it is probable the the audio CD was destroyed. Despite the fact that Mrs Nankervis virtually said that the tender “process” had a predetermined outcome, this was not good enough for Mr Butcher.

    At the end of the seven day fully contested hearing, Mr Butcher said that the tender process was at the heart of my dispute with SRV. He had five tender documents from five different pharmacies submitted as evidence at this hearing. Why did he not compare each document side by side? He gave a farce reason for this – something like, “I cannot compare the documents side by side because I do not know about the conditions surrounding the tender documents”. Mr Butcher had me as the sole applicant and witness. If he had really wanted to know more about the “conditions” surrounding the tender document, then surely he could have asked me.

    Gerard Butcher determined that SRV was liable for nothing. He even said that he could not see anything at all wrong or corrupt with the way SRV behaved despite what I have written above, despite “document loss” (or more probably deliberate document destruction) or despite the inappropriate meeting that he probably had with lawyers engaged by SRV.

    Gerard Butcher made few or no notes during the seven day fully contested hearing. Despite the fact that Gerard Butcher knew that I was not a lawyer and was diagnosed with bipolar-1 disorder severe enough to render me permanently unemployable as a pharmacy proprietor, Gerard Butcher than ordered that I pay $122,000 in legal expenses incurred by SRV to engage its highly paid legal personnel. If SRV really had such an open or shut case, maybe Kevin Bertram should have defended SRV on his own. Kevin Bertram was a dental science dropout who probably begrudged anyone of academic or intellectual calibre.

    Normally, a VCAT (Civil list) member would be willing to write written reasons for making a determination. Gerard Butcher did not do this. He only gave oral reasons.

    Gerard Butcher is corrupt scrum. He should be made personally liable for his corruption. I would personally let him rot in a little jail cell if I could.

    Like

  5. Not fair says:

    There needs to be another forum to hear disputes independently. VCAT is a sister to all other government departments.

    VCAT is very sneaky. If a matter is against a government department, VCAT is very selective when appointing certain members to hear the matter.

    Shame on some of the legal profession who are members at VCAT by putting the interests of VCAT before justice.

    Like

  6. Proof is in the pudding ... says:

    Remember Tony Abbott’s daughter’s case at VCAT? Her landlord took her to VCAT for breaking her residential rental lease. VCAT made an order against the landlord. Very unusual as similar cases at VCAT go the other way.

    The ‘ordinary’ VCAT member who heard the above case was promoted to deputy head of the Residential Tenancy List at VCAT within 2 months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the very insightful comments. You are spot on. Very unusual indeed. This had caused a bit of a storm at the time. Especially the “I’m the Prime Minister’s daughter” argument by Frances Abbott.

      The only sympathy I could have had for Frances Abbott is if she genuinely wanted to be independent. We don’t know if this was her first rental property. there is no indication of this in the newspapers, and there is no AUSTLII (http://www.austlii.edu.au) record for this case, so we cannot look this up. Unless we visit VCAT, fill out the form to look at the case file. I had problems accessing VCAT case files – so will they allow us to look at the PM’s daughter’s case file?.

      About VCAT decision: If VCAT bought her argument about ‘being independent’ – it cannot possibly expect a member of the public to bear the cost of her negligence in not checking the security of the apartment before signing the contract.

      At the VCAT hearing, Frances seemed to have relied on the “being independent…” argument and I am like no other person my father is the PM argument. Surely VCAT should have recognised that “YOU CAN’t HAVE IT BOTH WAYS”

      If you’re adament on being Independent, you must take on the responsibility.

      Here are some other websites and blogs where this is reported.

      http://theaimn.com/dad-pm/

      https://noplaceforsheep.com/2014/06/16/when-your-dad-is-not-the-pm/

      The Frances Abbott case has even been quoted in an anti-discrimination case against the attorney-general. See:

      http://documentslide.com/documents/aboriginal-man-names-tony-abbott-daughter-frances-in-discrimination-interference.html

      Direct Download copy of the above letter to Attorney General and VCAT Application:

      http://bit.ly/frances-abbott-named-in-anti-discrim

      Like

      • Matthew Webb says:

        As a result of a farce tender process conducted by Shepparton Retirement Villages, I was caused to work 120 hours per week and after 8 months, suffered a nervous breakdown and now cannot work as a pharmacist. Gerard Butcher obviously spent no time looking at the competing gender documents .

        I ultimately became involved in a farce VCAT hearing about a farce tender process. Butcher also had no conscience when it came to ordering me to past cost of $122,000 and despite the seven day fully contested hearing, Butcher gave no written reasons. He did.nit want to put anything in writing that would recluse him as corrupt.

        Gerard Butcher deserves [snipped – comment advocates violence]. Since he thinks it appropriate for lawless ness to prevail, I may circulate word on VCAT lleyterhes that he is a [snipped – probable libelous comment]. [snipped – cannot advocate violence on a public forum].

        Like

      • Dear Matthew Webb: I had to snip some of your comments. I’m not going to pretend to understand the magnitude of the frustration and anger you must be feeling. It must be immense.

        nevertheless, I cannot allow postings promoting the spreading of libelous content or advocating violence. Hope you understand.

        Like

  7. Amended. Actually, I was just about to reply to your excellent post before, and saw this, so took the time to look at the VCAT member who heard Frances Abbott’s case:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/readers-divided-over-tony-abbotts-daughter-frances-legal-stoush-relating-to-a-rental-property/news-story/7f366de0e29198e12aace60df663b2ef

    http://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/readers-divided-over-tony-abbotts-daughter-frances-legal-stoush-relating-to-a-rental-property/news-story/7f366de0e29198e12aace60df663b2ef

    She’s had an amazingly quick step-up the career ladder. Joining VCAT only in 2012-13, becoming deputy head soon after the Abbott case in 2015. Looks like she’s skipped the normal progression of Member, Senior Member, Deputy Head.

    For example, Heather Barker went from Member, Senior Member to Deputy Head. Not the same for
    Kylea ­Campana.

    BTW: Here is an extract from a newspaper report about a case heard by Ms Campana: (http://www.domain.com.au/news/man-tries-to-evict-mum-siblings-after-verbal-property-agreement-20150929-gjx3p0/)

    “Irrespective of the label you might place on an agreement – the reality is that any dispute that sees a mother and son on opposite sides of a Tribunal bar table – is a tragedy,” Ms Campana said in her decision, handed down last week.”

    This is completely opposite to what happened with my case. The member hearing my case, Jackie Kefford, just read the heading of my agreement, it said “licence agreement”. She did not bother, reading the content, or check if I signed it (I had not). She read out the heading loudly for the audio recording, then handed the agreement back to me. Soon afterwards she was ready to give her decision.

    Like

      • My post above has a mistake. Kylea Campana was appointed deputy head of the residential tenancies list (RTL) in 2014. This is my new source:

        http://lawnewsroom.deakin.edu.au/articles/the-deakin-law-degree-which-helped-kylea-go-beyond-the-law

        This makes sense because as you point out, the Abbott case was also in 2014.

        Earlier I was looking at the VCAT 2013/14 Annual report. Kylea Campana is listed a Full-time member. Fast forward to the 2014/15 annual report, and she is Deputy Head of Residential Tenancies List. No specific dates or congratulations are mentioned. Seems the annual report is reporting up to 30 June 2015 (starting 01 July 2014 presumably?).

        When Heather Barker was promoted to senior member during 2012-13 she got a specific mention :

        “Congratulations to Heather Barker who was promoted to the position of Senior Member,…”

        When Kylea Campana was promoted to deputy head of RTL during 2014-15, she received no mention.

        More inconsistencies. In fact, inconsistencies galore. Actually, VCAT should add “inconsistencies” to their core values of fairness, professionalism, integrity, impartiality, efficiency……

        Like

  8. Proof is in the pudding ... says:

    This is no consistency in VCAT decisions. It’s a circus.

    The few and decent Senior and ordinary Members at VCAT are astute to the internal corruption at VCAT. They are powerless to afford any change. They await their contract periods to expire. Explains the haphazard decision making (they just want out).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brick wall says:

    Like one of the earlier posts, I’ve made a number of applications to VCAT against my landlord (Director of Housing aka Department of Housing / Housing Commission / DHHS)

    I have experienced Heather Barker and Kylea Campana (Head and Deputy Head of the Residential Tenancurd List respectively) as the residing members for two separate cases.

    Heather Barker: I took her decision on appeal to the Supreme Court. I was appointed a pro bono Barrister to represent me. Just before the final hearing he was offered a position at VCAT as a sessional member and was not able to represent me any longer. Smell a rat?

    Kylea Campana: My application was for an urgent repair and was heard by this member over an eight month period. Yes, it took that long despite it being an urgent repair. I was not afforded natural justice a number of times in this proceeding. On a professional level, this member is lacking and is fooling herself if she believes she obtained her promotion at VCAT on merit.

    How can you be afforded a fair hearing at VCAT (a government body) when the other party to the dispute is also a government body?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally get what you say about the Barrister “suddenly” been offered a position as a member. As if, these sorta positions are offered on a whim!. Even the appointment of members to particular cases is very dubious. My case (on 08 July 2014) at VCAT was a threshold question case (at least that was what it was made out to be). VCAT ensured that it could only be decided in favour of the landlord by appointing a member that will undoubtedly side with the landlord. I noticed this from the start. The banding together with the landlord’s solicitor (not only that; allowing him to appear for the landlord in the first place), cutting me off when I was speaking, allowing the Landlord solicitor to be fully elaborate in his replies (allowing more time for him to put his arguments), not going through the tenancy agreement..etc.etc..

      I reckon member Jackie Kefford would side with the landlord at least 7/10 times. Not only her, other members are also notorious for handing down decisions in favour of particular groups. e.g. developers. One of the links on my blog http://malverneastgroup.freehostia.com/vcat/MEG_VCAT_Exposed_presentation_final.pdf

      has studied the bias displayed by VCAT as a whole and by particular members. They’ve found that particular members. e.g. Richard Walter (ex Town Planner) to hand down decisions in favour of the developer 91% of the time. VCAT as a whole (hell hole?) decided in favour of the developer 63% of the time. Mind you this is using data from 2005. The 63% figure could well have increased by now.

      bTW: I also applied for a barrister through Victoria Bar Association. However, I found the guy assigned next to useless even before meeting with him. Had contact with him through email and sms, but he kept getting dates/times of the Supreme Court hearings mixed-up. So I asked Vicbar for a replacement, which never did materialise.

      The duty barrister scheme run by the Supreme Court is a joke. I made a request well in advance of each hearing..filled out the form in elaborate detail to say why I needed a duty solicitor. Not a single contact. In fact I never did see a duty solicitor appear for anyone. Maybe the whole scheme is a charade.

      Legal aid was also a no-go. So, had to self-represent myself in COurt. Of course, without VCAT releasing all the documents I had requested, supreme court not releasing some previous case files (yep!, some docs are only released if a solicitor/barrister have applied for them – something to do with solicitors/barristers having taken an oath, whereas I haven’t) I had about as much chance as a VCAT member standing down from a case due to bias.

      In the circumstances I did fight the two supreme court cases to the best of my abilities. However, anyone contemplating this, be warned, lawyers/solicitors/barristers and judges are very cliquee. Not surprising I suppose, they see each other day in day out. probably attend the same functions and get-togethers. So, even before you’ve started, you’re behind. Sure, some supreme court judges will give you hints/tips during the hearing, but only up to a point. Some will blatantly refuse to assist with anything and everything, as I found out when I asked a judge to clarify a procedure.

      p.s.I’ve asked/complained about VCAT residential tenenacy list delays. For example, to arrange file access they would take weeks. With every complaint, they came back to me with the same reply. Residential tenancies list IS THE BUSIEST LIST OF THEM ALL. They would quote this like a mantra. i would be left wondering “Gee, thanks for that. if you didn’t tell me, I would be none the wiser”.

      Like

      • During the 2012 VCAT legislative reform project, the The Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic (HPLC) and Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) made several recommendations (I’ve made available their full submissions at: https://dl.orangedox.com/l5BaaatchwWeKCqwLA ). One of the recommendations was:

        * that VCAT install and operate recording facilities at all hearing venues.

        Even if audio recording facilities are now available at all venues (https://www.vcat.vic.gov.au/steps-to-resolve-your-case/what-to-expect-after-the-final-hearing/recordings-and-transcripts-of) VCAT certainly know how to get round them. Once the hearing is over, Members (and VCAT generally) have unfettered access to the audio and what is released. Any indiscriminating evidence on the audio will be tampered with/edited out. It’s happened on many occasions.

        Leave you with a quote:

        “Justice is indiscriminately due to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank.” — John Jay (One of the founding fathers of the United States of America)

        Like

  10. Hush .. hush says:

    I am aware that when the current President at VCAT was appointed, he took almost immediate steps to remove the ability for audio recordings of VCAT hearings to be made available. The only option available after this banning was to request a transcript of the hearing instead. Transcripts were available from an external source costing thousands of dollars depending on the length of the hearing.

    Only with the Tenants Union of Victoria advocating for the return of the availability of audio recordings did the President change his policy.

    When I googled ‘VCAT Corruption’ this time, I noticed that IBAC Victoria has a paid ad link (encouraging people to report corruption to them) above any other search results.

    Is someone getting cold feet? I don’t trust any government department. Report any corruption to IBAC and watch your advice being swept under the carpet instead of being out in the open.

    Like

  11. Hush .. hush says:

    Notice IBAC has stopped ‘advertising’ as reported in my last post.

    After scanning through the above posts it is obvious to me that in the year 2014 there was a number of questionable actions undertaken by VCAT. Given the seriousness of those matters I wonder if IBAC will conduct an investigation and report on its findings in a transparent manner.

    Like

  12. Very interesting reading. Thank you to the person who has developed this forum.

    Here is my story about VCAT, the Victorian Building Commission and the Director of Housing The Department). This is in light of the recent London public housing tower fire.

    I live in an older persons estate consisting of 14 units managed by the Director of Housing (Percy Street, St Albans). It was discovered that our housing estate did not have the required fire separation material in the roof and wall cavity between each unit. This was backed up by a Building Commission report obtained under Freedom of Information.

    A VCAT application was made against the Director of Housing to address the above. Instead of taking immediate action to rectify the serious defects the Department instead engaged a Barrister to defend the claim.

    The Department later instalked the missing fire separation material in the roof space only. The Department engaged a “private” building surveyor to write a report on this which was presented to VCAT. I raised to VCAT that the report clearly did not confirm that fire separation material had been installed in the vertical wall space separating each of the units. The VCAT said it had. The Department did not present any arguments (they were relying on the report). It was clear to me that the VCAT Member had been prepped for his decision before the hearing. I am educated and intelligent and I do know how to read a report.

    If the above raises serious questions then the Victorian Building Commission needs to be exposed too. At a subsequent inspection of the property in question, they went back on their initial report claiming that fire separation material had been installed in the vertical wall space separating each of the units. This is despite no work whatsoever being carried out on the property in question to install such material. Carrying this work out would have been a major job (costing a considerable amount of money).

    I wonder if IBAC will investigate the above given the seriousness of the issues. At least all are on Notice now in the event we suffer loss, injury or death due to fire spread in our units. There is no need for IBAC to advertise it’s services as there is sufficient information for it to commence an immediate investigation.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s